I recently started working in a LTC / Rehab facility, they have me working the LTC side of the facility. I was relieved at first to notice that resident call alarms are lights in hallway that I could easily see but after few days there I noticed that most residents do not use call lights but have alarms on their beds and chairs that beep when they get up. I do not hear these alarms unless I am in the same room as them which does not help when they are to prevent falling in residents that are getting up alone when they shouldn't be. My fear is that someone could fall and get hurt because I didn't hear an alarm and no one else was around to hear it. I do frequent laps up and down hall instead of standing in place or sitting like most other aides do but I have lots of charting to do in a day too that doesn't allow me to walk the halls while doing that. I never mentioned when hired that I am HOH, as I didn't think of it and it doesn't usually affect my life in any way other than using captioning while watching tv. If I tell my employer now that I cannot hear the call alarms could they fire me? I am thinking about asking to transfer to rehab side where residents are more cognitive and use the call lights (no need for alarms) I am just worried that since I have not been there long they will just fire me and replace me. I have seen equal arguments as to if its legal for employers to fire HOH CNA's as hearing could be considered "essential part of job". Or does anyone know of a pager like vibrating system that would vibrate for call alarms, like ones have in homes for doorbell, phone, etc.
Feb 28, '14
I think if it's a concern of yours you should bring it up, there is nothing wrong with doing your job, keeping patients safe is BIG part of your job and it could be something that no one else pays attention too.
Mar 1, '14
How did you get hired without your interviewer knowing you were HOH? Just curious.......I do think your inability to hear alarms and call bells could be a big safety issue.
Apr 30, '14
I'm glad to see there are other people in the field with the same situation! I do tell potential employers that I'm HOH though so they know I'm not being a jerk when they call me from down the hall
and I don't hear them/respond. I would absolutely mention it to them and they usually try to be accommodating so that everyone is safe. Good luck!
Apr 30, '14
From an ethical standpoint, I believe you have a moral obligation to tell your employer as you diminished hearing poses a danger to the patients if accommodations are not made.
As for your legal rights as a person with a disability, you will have to consult an attorney or some other employee rights expert. I am a nurse (as are most people on this forum) and not qualified to give legal advice.
llg (who also has hearing/balance impairments)
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